July 23, 2022
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Saliba said he would be a key player

William Saliba has been told he will be a key player for Arsenal next season and should stay at the club after three years on loan.

The French defender, 21, reluctantly returned to the Emirates after helping Marseille finish second in Ligue 1 to Paris Saint-Germain.

And reports in France claim the £27million centre-back, signed from Saint-Etienne in 2019, will ask to leave if he is not a starter for Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.

But Arteta is convinced that Saliba, who has two years left on his contract, has a huge future at Arsenal.

He said: “William is in my plans and we’re all excited to watch him.

“He’s a real talent who showed what he could do in Marseille.

“The way our relationship started was not a typical thing to do, but the plan was always to buy him off and send him out on loan.

“We tried to prepare him in the best possible way for what he will face in the Premier League.

“We cannot guarantee first-team football to anyone. But I guarantee that the players who take us to the next level are going to play a lot of minutes.

“He has improved in so many areas. All the time he spent abroad boosted his self-confidence.

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